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The state of the gaming industry

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The video game industry made $108.9 billion in 2017, more than six times the profit turned by the music industry. In fact, in the UK, the BBC reports that gaming is “worth more than video and music combined” –despite the fact that it is the youngest of the three mediums.
The UK is not alone. Around the world revenue is being driven, profits are being turned and billions of dollars are being made – predominantly by the sale of video games.

The top 10 gaming markets, as of October 2018, are as follows:
1. China – $34.4 billion
2. USA – $31.5 billion
3. Japan – $17.7 billion
4. South Korea – $5.7 billion
5. Germany – 4.9 billion
6. United Kingdom – $4.7 billion
7. France – $3.3 billion
8. Canada – 2.4 billion
9. Spain – $2.2 billion
10. Italy – $2.1 billion
Figures are courtesy of Newzoo.com’s top 100 report, with VGsales.wikia consulted as well.

Digital is the way forward
Say goodbye to the big cardboard boxes of old. Digital is the new revenue driver for games.
Statista notes that US digital sales were up to 79% in 2017 versus 20% in 2009. In the UK, the trend is similar: a Eurogamer report notes that 80% of all sales are now digital.
In fact, investment management firm Piper Jaffray predicts that physical copies of games will disappear by 2022.

What do the 50 best-selling games of all time have in common?
The insights that follow are based on an analysis of the 50 best-selling video games of all time, as of 16 January 2019.
1. 62% of the games are preoccupied with action/violence in one form or another
2. 0% of the games feature a female-only protagonist
3. 38% of the games feature male-only leads
4. Only 9% of the games on the list feature a Hollywood A-lister

Diversity in gaming: Not a single game in the top 50 features a female-only protagonist

  • 0% of the games focus on a female-only story
  • By contrast, 38% of the games feature male leads
    48% of the games allow you to choose your sex/gender
  • 1 game on the list (2%) has an “unknown” protagonist (Need for Speed: Most Wanted) and 6 games (12%) don’t feature a human protagonist at all.

Games with female leads, like Horizon Zero Dawn, fall short of the top 50 despite outstanding results. In February 2018, Horizon was confirmed to have sold more than 7.6 million copies. The best-selling Tomb Raider game – 2013’s reboot – is closer to the top 50 still, netting 11 million sales in its lifetime so far.
Still, the lack of diversity is disappointing, and the results mirror a trend propagated by movies. Of the 50 biggest box office hits, only Frozen (Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel) and Beauty and the Beast (Emma Watson) afford a woman top billing.

But the situation is improving…

…The new Star Wars films heavily focus on the story of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and from a video game standpoint, developers are trying to redress the imbalance.
In terms of upcoming releases:

  • The Last of Us Part II will focus entirely on Ellie (she was a playable character in the 2013 original).
  • Gears 5 from the popular Gears of War franchise will put you in the shoes of Kait, bucking the trend of male leads in Gears games past.
  • Control, the next title from Alan Wake and Max Payne developer Remedy, will also have a female protagonist.

Violence remains a key selling point

62% of the games on the list are based around the central conceit of action, or violence.
The most popular genres all deal with it in one capacity or another:

  • Action-adventure – 30% (15 out of 50)
  • Shooters – 18% (9 out of 50)
  • Role-playing– 14% (7 out of 50)

“Action-adventure” encompasses a mix of open world titles like Grand Theft Auto and more tightly-constructed fare like The Last of Us – both styles are preoccupied with violence.
Shooters emphasise violence even more – this a genre in which you’re literally looking down the sights of a gun.
Finally, role-playing blurs the line, but conflict is at the heart of the Pokemon games (albeit in cartoon form) and Skyrim sees players battling otherworldly creatures with swords, bows and magic.

Need for Speed might be a big-name franchise, but only one game from the series makes the top 50

Five racing games make the top 50, but four of them are Mario titles.
The one that isn’t – 2005’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted – followed on the heels off the chintzy and celebrity-heavy Need for Speed Underground games and emerged at a time when sentiment towards the franchise was at an all-time high.
Most Wanted also arrived in a year populated with an unusual number of platforms. The game was released for the Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, Xbox 360. This would have helped its sales performance.

The five lowest-ranking genres in the top 50 are:

  • Arcade – 1 / 2%
  • Puzzle – 2 / 4%
  • Simulation, Virtual life – 2 / 4%
  • Miscellaneous – 4 / 8%
  • Driving, Racing – 5 / 10%

Hollywood lite: games don’t need well-known actors and actresses to sell well

In additional research on the top 50 best-selling games, we looked at how many involved a high-profile cast and whether this is a key selling point. It turns out, that while movies rely on big-name actors to make a splash, games are less dependent on star power to drive their wheels.

Only 15% of the 50 on the list feature a well-known gaming voice actor (a Nolan North or Troy Baker, for instance). This number drops to 9% when you tighten the net to Hollywood A-listers, who include:

  • Cara Pifko (Kinect Adventures!, 2010)
  • Ricky Gervais (Grand Theft Auto IV, 2008)
  • Keith David (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, 2009)
  • Samuel L. Jackson, Ice-T, James Woods, Danny Dyer, William Fichtner, (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 2004)
  • Michael Madsen, Michael Rapaport, Kyle MacLachlan (Grand Theft Auto III, 2001)

Rockstar’s recent titles, like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, have purposefully steered clear of Hollywood talent.
“[W]e don’t bring in name actors anymore,” Dan Houser, Rockstar co-founder, revealed to Vulture, “because of their egos and, most important of all, because we believe we get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognize.”

Both Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 rely on relatively unknown actors, and given their incredible sales success, it hasn’t hurt them.

6 games could potentially ship 10 million copies or more in 2019 and 2020

The top 50 Smash Hit Success list demonstrates one thing loud and clear: franchise names sell well. And with the PlayStation 5 and the next Xbox likely around the corner, game-makers will have yet more platforms to make money on.
In theory, something like FIFA 20 could appear on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5; the Xbox 360, Xbox One and the next Xbox.
Expect 2019 and 2020 to be bumper years for this fast-growing industry.

Likely best-selling games on the horizon:

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (based on the success of Nintendo first-party releases)
  • 2019’s Call of Duty (based on prior Call of Duty success)
  • FIFA 20 (based on the success of FIFA 18)
  • The Last of Us 2 (based on the success of The Last of Us)
  • Cyberpunk 2020 (based on the success of RPG fantasy games like Skyrim)
  • Metroid Prime 4 (based on the success of Nintendo first-party releases)

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: The state of the gaming industry

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Gambling sector deemed the industry most at risk of money laundering, new research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions reveals

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1 in 3 (33.3%) anti-money laundering (AML) professionals in the gambling industry believe that their sector is at the highest risk of money laundering, according to a new report from global analytics provider LexisNexis® Risk Solutions. This opinion is shared by 41.9% of professionals in other regulated industries surveyed, who flagged the gambling sector as one of the top three industries most at risk of money laundering.

The report – On the Frontline: The UK’s Fight Against Money Laundering – is based on research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and points to the risk potentially being caused by an internal culture of complacency. Almost 40% (39.2%) of AML professionals in the sector identified complacency as the biggest internal barrier to fighting money laundering. This, coupled with the fact that the same number (39.2%) think UK money laundering regulations are only “somewhat effective” points to a potential financial crime storm ahead for the gambling sector.

The Gambling Commission is acutely aware of the challenge, and in its 2018/19 Enforcement Report noted that it had investigated ‘a number of online casino operators’ found to have breached conditions related to the AML portions of their licences. During the past financial year, the watchdog issued a record £19.6m in penalties against firms who failed to stop money laundering or meet social responsibility obligations, and has warned of further ‘draconian’ actions for those operators who fail to learn lessons from these fines.

Even with this ramping up of enforcement actions, over 40% (41.2%) of respondents believe that the anti-money laundering regulations that they have to comply with are disproportionate to the money laundering threat that they actually face.

Despite a culture of complacency and lack of confidence in the AML regime, gambling firms are pouring money into AML compliance, with a vast majority (82.3%) stating their compliance budgets have increased over the last two years – more so than any other sector surveyed in the report.

A majority of this budget is being allocated to technology aimed at tackling the problem, the research revealed. Over 40% (41.7%) of AML compliance budgets is dedicated to technology at the moment, with over three quarters of respondents (78.4%) expecting funding for technology to increase further over the next five years.

Michael Harris, Director of Financial Crime Compliance and Reputational Risk at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions says:

“The threat money laundering poses to the gambling sector is very real, and this fact is clearly recognised by those working within it too.

The industry needs to take urgent steps to address this growing threat by ensuring that customer due diligence checks are conducted before allowing any gambling activity to begin, and, given the rise in online gambling, should consider embracing digital know your customer (KYC) technologies.

This, along with training teams dealing with customers on the frontline to spot money laundering red flags and adopt a risk-based approach, gives gambling operators the best chance of fighting financial crime and meeting their legal obligations.”

 

About LexisNexis® Risk Solutions

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. For more information, please visit risk.lexisnexis.co.uk, and www.relx.com.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Gambling sector deemed the industry most at risk of money laundering, new research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions reveals

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SIS Selects Sportech To Provide Global Commingling Solution

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SIS (Sports Information Services) and Sportech PLC today announced a global commingling totalisator agreement that will allow SIS to create and disseminate a worldwide pool for greyhound racing.

SIS, the leading supplier of 24/7 betting services to retail and online operators globally, will utilize Sportech’s Quantum™ System pari-mutuel betting software to offer the greyhound global pool, leveraging Sportech’s unrivalled worldwide reach and expansive global commingling capabilities. Sportech will also provide hosting and operational services of the greyhound global pool from the company’s Global Quantum™ Data and Operations Centres.

Paul Witten, Product Director at SIS, said “This partnership further bolsters our capability as the leading supplier of 24/7 betting services worldwide.

“Sportech’s market-leading technology will help facilitate SIS’s greyhound racing global pool, which will further expand the reach of greyhound racing around the world”.

 

Bruno Gay, Vice President Sales and Business Development EMEA for Sportech, said: “We are delighted to partner with SIS to deliver a greyhound racing global pool, a project for which Quantum™ System and Sportech’s global service delivery network are perfectly suited.

 

Sportech’s Quantum™ technology has helped betting clients all over the world find new markets for their products and new content for their consumers.  On the heels of the successful implementation of the “Ascot World Pool” for UK Totepool, Ascot Racecourse, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, we are delighted to support SIS in offering a global pool to satisfy the world greyhound racing market.”

About SIS

SIS (Sports Information Services) has been a trusted partner to the global betting industry for over 30 years, supplying short form betting content to online and retail betting operators. Our horse and greyhound racing content can help keep customers engaged and increase dwell time online and in-shop.

SIS provides operators with an end-to-end solution for horse and greyhound betting including data, live pictures, prices and derivatives, creating betting events to help drive profitable sales. For more information about SIS please visit www.sis.tv.

 

About Sportech

Sportech PLC is the international betting technology business delivering services and solutions to gaming companies, sports teams, racetracks, casinos and lottery clients across 37 countries.  In addition, the Group owns and operates sports gaming venues in Connecticut, United States, under exclusive licenses.

Sportech is a leading global provider of wagering technology solutions to licensed betting operators worldwide. Sportech systems process US $12 billion in bets annually for licensed operators across 37 countries. For more information, visit www.sportechplc.com.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: SIS Selects Sportech To Provide Global Commingling Solution

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WePlay! Dota Underlords Open: the registration for all comers starts!

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Dota Underlords fans from all over the world are welcome to register and compete for the total prize pool of $15,000.

WePlay! Esports has revealed the details for everyone willing to take part in WePlay! Dota Underlords Open open qualifiers. The registration is open from July 15th till July 23th, 2019, 23:59 CEST (14:59 PDT). The schedule and registration process details are available at WePlay! Esports website.

To sign up for WePlay! Dota Underlords Open participants are needed to have an account at Challonge.com and also join WePlay! Esports Discord channel. Regular announcements and news will be available at the #underlords_open_announces group; all communication with the players will be held through Discord.

Dota Underlords Open will have two divisions: Vicious Order (Europe) and Crimson Gang(Americas). The divisions are not region-locked, so players from all over the world can participate. Each round will have three games. The best four players with the highest points move on to the next round. The qualifiers will be taking place until there are only eight players. Those eight players will be invited to the main event, taking place from August 1st to August 4th, 2019.

Players are entitled to participate in qualifiers through multiple regions and, moreover, they can play from a mobile device. Participants are also allowed to stream their games on their private Twitch channels, but they are not allowed to stream the main event (after the end of the qualifiers).

WePlay! Dota Underlords Open open qualifiers start on July 24th and will be taking place till July 28th, 2019. The winners will be invited to the main event with a $15,000 prize pool.

More details of WePlay! Dota Underlords Open tournament are available at WePlay! website.

#WePlay #WePlayDotaUnderlords

Source: WePlay! Esports Press Office

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: WePlay! Dota Underlords Open: the registration for all comers starts!

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